Hosting Vanilla is costing a lot of money for no reason. I'd really like to stop paying. It seems like there is at least one promising alternative in the works that is Flarum.http://flarum.org/
It's still beta, but I got it to run. You can try out the demo and see how it is. Once it's not beta, I imagine it will serve our purposes nicely. If anyone knows of any others, let me know.
The problem is migrating all the stuff from this forum. I don't think it will be possible. Even if it is possible, it will be too difficult to be worth the trouble. I think the plan will have to be that I will get a database backup from Vanilla. Then I will run a server with the open source Vanilla 2 and put the forum in read-only mode. Then start a new forum with freshness.
Also, it seems that due to the popularity of Slack, there are a lot of web-based chat frameworks available. We still have our IRC channel, and yes there are people there. But obviously people aren't going to use that so much. Is there a reason to have a chat if we already have a forum? Here are some possible chats that won't cost us any money:http://www.mattermost.org/
- Free, open source, self hosted, seems nice, lacking features.https://rocket.chat/
- Free, open source, self hosted, feature rich, even has apps, bleeding edge fancy tech I don't fully trust.https://discordapp.com/
- Free, not self-hosted, has all sorts of bonus features for gaming.
Would people use one of these AND the forum if I had both setup?